6 Characteristics that make Exceptional Coaches

The coaching industry is exploding post covid. But all coaches are not the same.

The amount of training and expertise varies significantly between coaches. Some people who claim to be coaches are not even coaching at all, but rather being advisers or mentors. If you are looking to employ a coach do your homework!

Maybe you would make a great coach? Do you have some natural characteristics that would make you a great coach? Read on…..

Here are some surprising, often not thought about characteristics which separate out exceptional coaches from average ones:

1. Creativity

Drawing on your creativity as a coach, is so important. At first you need it to learn how to recognise client needs and then match these needs to the best tools you have in your coaching toolbox. Exceptional coaches can design coaching packages for clients which work effectively to address their needs and bring them breakthrough fast!

As well as designing client solutions, great coaches learn how to creatively adapt in sessions. People are amazingly diverse and the answers and solutions to help them get breakthrough are also diverse!

Creative coaches quickly access new ideas spontaneously in sessions to stimulate and engage client’s creativity. This helps clients get breakthroughs beyond what they thought possible.

For example, using what we call bodywork, getting clients moving to help their imagination or using the room and objects around as props to help clients visualise and imagine what they need to find their solutions. These creative techniques, need courage and ingenuity and above all creativity.

Coaches that access and flow in their creativity can coach people into the realm of powerful right brain thinking and away from pure logic. This realm of thinking contains fresh innovation and solutions. It reaches into intuition and the realm of the spirit. Those coaches that can step into this, manage to break through where standard methods of coaching don’t.

2. Being an Insatiable Learner

Having a mindset of constantly needing to learn and wanting to grow and improve creates exceptional coaches and leaders. There is learning with every new client. There is learning honing and refining your skills as a coach over the years. Having the hunger to continue this journey is essential to become an exceptional coach. It is in fact a requirement when being professionally credentialed, to be able to learn, adapt and improve constantly. To develop yourself. Training is not a one-time event.

Watching a master coach, lead someone through incredible breakthrough, is a joy. They make it look easy. What people don’t realise is that any master coach, has been through years of learning. They have had feedback on their coaching, been mentored, they have practiced and self-reflected on their skills. They have worked at their skills consistently over many years. Coaches are required to renew their credentials and constantly train, learn and receive feedback.

Those that have an insatiable hunger for learning and want to improve and embrace this process wholeheartedly, become exceptional coaches.

An exceptional coach will get you there faster, up to 10 times faster than one who has not honed their skills. An exceptional coach will also take you further than an average coach. The actual result and trajectory you end up on will be different and to a higher level. This is because a coach that has stretched themselves to their own highest level, has the skills, the confidence, the faith, and the authority to do the same for you!

3. Curiosity

Many people become coaches wanting to impart their wisdom, and experience and answers to those that need them. Coaching is not about that. Coaching is about learning to facilitate people to find their own wisdom and answers. Learning to switch on a healthy curiosity makes a coach shine. What is ‘healthy curiosity’? It’s curiosity to find the greatness that you know is inside the person you are coaching. It’s curiosity to find out what will help them step into their greatest potential.

When we coach with God, it’s curiosity to find out what incredible outcome and future God wants to co-create with a person. It’s curiosity that is clean and devoid of needing to gather information to prove a theory or opinion or solution you can see is the best for a person.  It’s curiosity to find the best in a person.

4. Resilience

Great coaches need a huge amount of resilience. They need to be able to get feedback on their coaching and have the humility to grow, develop and improve.

Coaches will not constantly get affirmation from clients but will give it to clients. They give their all but must spend a lot of the time trusting the process that is happening. This takes courage and needs resilience. The outcome in the end will be amazing, but it is ultimately dependant on the client. Coaches need to respect that and be ok with that. Being resilient, means not taking it personally when clients choose not to progress. It means being ok with some sessions being off the scale amazing and others feeling hard. Being resilient means being able to stand strong and trust the process you are leading.

Coaches need to be resilient by not being afraid to confront clients and challenge them. They need to not be people pleasers but be willing to bring up the uncomfortable truths sometimes.

Finally, many coaches operate as self-employed. Running your own business, being responsible for finding and developing clients constantly, takes a huge amount of resilience. It’s not for everybody. Some prefer the consistency of being employed and getting a salary every month.

5. Humility

Great coaches will be experts at self-management. They will be ok with not being the one that gives the answers and solutions. In humility they will facilitate a beautiful dance allowing their clients and God to work together to find answers. They will have great humility to step back and park their own expertise.

They will have humility to be able to share themselves when applicable in small parts but knowing it’s not about themselves. They will be humble enough to be able to put the client’s agenda and growth above their own ideas and fixes.

6. Maturity of Identity and Purpose

Finally, all the above points to this one thing. Great coaches will have maturity of their own identity and purpose. The more mature they are in this the greater the coach they will be. Coaches need to be ok with coaching people that will go further than they will. Once they are ok with this, the sky is literally the limit. We set our students up to leave our training being confident to coach presidents and prime ministers. The fact is that we want to coach people beyond our expertise and experience. This makes the outcomes of our coaching limitless. If it is simply around what we know and can advise, then it is limited!

Being mature in your own identity and clear on your own journey and goals and purpose is vital. This gives a coach the ability to stand strong and be 100% focussed on helping others. It motivates a coach to believe in people and want them to become even bigger world changers than they themselves are!

Godly leaders, lead others to achieve more than themselves. Desiring this and facilitating this, having that level of belief for others, requires maturity. It’s a kingdom mindset.

The 6 characteristics above, are partially innate and partially learned and developed.

Coach training which builds and develops these characteristics, to become as much core values as characteristics and skills, develops you to a whole new level. You become equipped to bring faster, deeper, and more sustainable transformation to people.

Check out our Transformational Online School which develops these characteristics and raises up exceptional coaches and coach leaders.

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